Germknodel is an Austrian steamed bun filled with plum jam and topped with warm vanilla sauce and poppy seeds.
I never knew this existed. Making as many different breads as I have, not much can surprise me these days. But this was special. We all know steamed buns with savoury fillings. Perhaps with sweet custard sometimes, but this is unique as it is a whole plated dessert.
Sure, in Austria and other countries where this is common people find it totally normal. And I know that it is a common school dessert too. But for me this was new and amazing.
Super soft, pillowy steamed buns with vanilla and lemon in the dough filled with delicious plum jam. Warm vanilla sauce to top and crushed poppy seeds with powdered sugar to finish. Writing this alone is making me crave them!
You will need some kind of steamer. I have a bamboo one. But in a pinch, you could MacGyver something together from a pan with a lid and some kind of rack to keep the buns over the water. There are ways, trust me.
This recipe makes two large buns. If you would like to make more simply multiply the amount of ingredients.
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the dough –
120g (4.25oz) strong white bread flour
2g (0.07oz) salt
10g (0.35oz) sugar
3g (0.1oz) instant dry yeast or 3.6g (0.12oz) active dry yeast or 9g (0.3oz) fresh yeast
10g (0.35oz) butter
4g (0.15oz) vanilla syrup
1 lemon worth of zest
1 egg yolk
50g (1.75oz) cold milk. The yolk and milk should total 70g (2.45oz). Weigh the yolk first, then make up the difference with the milk. I am using cold milk and cold egg from the fridge*
*To learn more about dough temperature control click here.
For the filling –
150g plum jam. In Austria they have a special jam called powidl which is made without sugar. But regular plum jam worked fine for me.
For the vanilla sauce –
1 egg yolk
5g (0.17oz) corn starch
15g (0.5oz) sugar
6g (0.2oz) vanilla syrup
100g (3.5oz) milk
100g (3.5oz) double cream
To finish –
10g (0.35oz) poppy seeds
10g (0.35oz) powdered sugar
Grind these together with a pestle and mortar or use a food processor
- In a bowl combine the milk, yeast, salt, sugar, egg yolk, lemon zest, butter, and vanilla. Mix well to dissolve any large salt and sugar crystals and hydrate the yeast. Add the flour and mix to a dough.
- Tip the dough out on your table and knead it for 3 – 4 minutes. Yes, this takes very little time because it is a small amount. *Desired dough temperature 25 – 26C (77-79F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
- Cover and ferment for around 2 hours or until doubled.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Pre-shape into round balls.
- Cover and let them rest for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough out making the edge thinner than the middle. Fill with jam and seal up.
- Place on parchment paper. Cover and ferment for 1 – 1.5 hours or until well puffed up.
- Bring a pot of water up to a rolling boil and preheat your steamer. Make sure everything is ready before you start steaming.
- Place the buns in the steamer and leave them for 15 minutes. *Be careful when using the steamer as you can easily scald your hands. Open the lid, let some of the steam escape before placing your hands near it.
- While the buns are steaming make the sauce. Whisk together the egg yolk, corn starch and sugar until smooth. Add the milk, cream, and vanilla. Mix well. Cook the sauce on medium heat whisking occasionally for around 5 minutes or until it starts thickening. You do not have to boil it.
- Top your buns with plenty of sauce, sprinkle with poppy seeds and tuck in.
Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.
Watch the video here